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Measuring language attitudes using the Personalized Implicit Association Test: A case study on regional varieties of Dutch in Belgium

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 August 2018

Laura Rosseel*
University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium FWO, Research Foundation Flanders, Brussels, Belgium
Dirk Speelman
University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Dirk Geeraerts
University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
*Address for correspondence: Laura Rosseel, KU Leuven, Blijde-Inkomststraat 21, bus 3308, 3000 Leuven, Belgium,


This paper introduces the Personalized Implicit Association Test (P-IAT, Olson & Fazio, 2004) as a novel measure for language attitudes. Tying in with sociolinguists’ renewed interest in social psychological attitude measures (e.g., Campbell-Kibler, 2012; Pantos & Perkins, 2012; Speelman, Spruyt, Impe & Geeraerts, 2013), the study uses the P-IAT to measure associations with regional varieties of Belgian Dutch and compares the results to an explicit measurement, as well as the results from an experiment using auditory affective priming, another reaction time based attitude measure developed in social psychology, reported in Speelman et al. (2013). Results from both implicit measures show a strong preference for the standard variety of Belgian Dutch over out-group regional varieties, as well as in-group preferences for participants’ own variety over other regional varieties. However, results do not entirely coincide. The paper concludes by discussing the benefits and potential demerits of the P-IAT as a measure of language attitudes.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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